Any soldier worth their weight in warfare would never dream of entering the battle without proper weaponry. It would be foolish to have anyone on the frontlines of battle without sufficient “fire power”. Think through all the war heroes of the past; Napolean, Washington, MacArthur, etc. Now think of all the wars they won while hiding in their bunker. Although defense is an important factor, wars are won when troops go on the offense. We all understand this truth militaristically. We even understand the analogy when we carry it over into the sports arena. The team with the best offense is normally the winning team. However, very few Christians seem to understand that this truth is applicable in regards to our culture. I need not remind you that we are in the midst of a culture war. Our actors, news anchors, musicians, politicians, editors, superintendents, co-workers and neighbors remind us continually. The question for every Christian parent is “How engaged are you” in this cultural battle for truth and righteousness? Are you in the fight? Is your family anywhere near the frontlines? Sadly, too many Christians (especially parents!) have developed a defensive posture in regards to the culture war.
Jesus was on the offensive. Find a passage of Scripture where Jesus took a defensive posture. Locate a verse where He cowered from a confrontational conversation with the Pharisees. Show me a time where Jesus was timid, shy, quiet, apologetic or “tolerant” of anti-Biblical ideas and opinions. He appropriately challenged His family (Luke 2:41-52). He was not afraid to rebuke even His closest friends (Matthew 16:21-23). He consistently stood up to the “preachers” of His day (Matthew 23:1-39). He defended the integrity of His church with zeal (Matthew 21:12-13). He did not fear man even if that man had the “authority” to “take” His life (John 19:8-11). And yet, in all of His boldness, Jesus modeled for us how to assault the culture without sinning in the process (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus was an appropriately offensive figure, are you?
One way that God commands every Christian parent to assault the culture is via their children. In Psalm 127:4-5, we learn three important truths about this culture war we are in:
“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.”
Your children are arrows. The purpose of an arrow is to defeat the enemy. Arrows were never created to remain in the quiver. They were also never meant to be dull. A dull arrow is simply for appearance and arrows created for appearance only – never win wars. It is my observation that most parents are more concerned about their arrow’s appearance than they are with their arrow’s sharpness. Evaluate your weaponry. What is the spiritual condition of your arrows? If you have 3 in your quiver, how “sharp” are they? Could you release them into the culture war with confidence that they would positively impact the culture for Christ? If you are not able to fully release them yet (due to age), are you working diligently to sharpen them for the day they will be released? If you think the Christian parent’s goal in life is simply to fill your quiver with no responsibility to sharpen the arrows entrusted in your care, you are not only sadly mistaken but have also done nothing to help the rest of us win this cultural battle.
You are a warrior. “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” If the children are the arrows, then the parents are the warriors. Do you see yourself as a warrior? Do you act like one? As a warrior for Christ, what role are you playing in this culture war? Does the culture of your workplace, local school district, community or city know that if they violate God’s standard, then they are going to have to answer to God’s warrior in these matters? The culture wages war every day and very few Christian warriors do anything about it.
Sharpened arrows fly with confidence. “…they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.” When you become the warrior God calls you to be and when you (in the power of the Holy Spirit) do all you can to sharpen (equip) them for this cultural battle, the result is confidence. A sharp arrow released by a true warrior flies with confidence. A dull arrow released by a coward barely gets off the ground. Part of the reason Christianity in America is limping today is because too many Christians apologize for their faith instead of defending it. You try to storm the banks of Normandy with a water gun. You attempt to defend Fort Sumter with a rubber bullet. When Christian parents inadequately equip their children to be the arrows that God desires for them to be, we all lose ground.
How sharp are your arrows, warrior? Could you release them, even today, with confidence that they would make a difference for Christ?